Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Digging out from the Blizzard of 2010

Blanketing Snow and High Winds were the Highlights of the Last Storm of 2010

By Mark J. Donovan

For many of us on the Northeast coast of the United States we spent the next couple of days after Christmas digging out from a powerful winter blizzard. Though the snowfall was significant it was the wind that was really the story. Wind gusts exceeded hurricane force levels in some northeastern communities and knocked power out all over northern New England towns. Here in New Hampshire gusts regularly reached 40 to 50 MPH.

The snow started falling on December 26, and really got going that night and the next day. I snowblowed the driveway and cleared the roofs, decks and pool during the tail end of the snowing phase of the storm. Due to the high winds and drifting I had to go back out and repeat the process again this morning. The winds had eased a little, but they were still gusting at around 20-25 MPH by my guess.

The walkways that my son and I shoveled the day before were packed with blowing snow. Actually there was more snow in the walkways than there was in the main part of the yard. Clearing the walkways and creating the snow piles adjacent to them from the first dig-out caused the drifting snow to accumulate deeper in the walkways than the surrounding area. In addition, it was packed down and had a 2 inch crust layer on top making it difficult to remove. See the accompany pictures.

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